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4K Video Workflow

Adopting a 4K production workflow can have significant impact on the entire production workflow and each step of the process has different considerations.

Existing production environments built for HD production will find it a considerable strain to start producing 4K—storage performance adequate for a full team of HD production creative may only be able to support a few 4K editors, or that 4K ingest consumes so much storage performance that existing production is impacted.

For example, four HD streams may independently be streamed from a production SAN, each able to tolerate workstation-to-storage latency of around 40ms before editing or playout is affected and runs out of buffered content.

By contast, a single 4K stream may only be able to sustain 20ms of latency before editing or playout is affected—an effect that is only amplified when multiple streams, and multiple editors are all working on the same production SAN.

Building Your 4K Workflow

There are different recommended approaches to adopting a 4K production workflow that range from standing up an entirely new 4K environment to building a pilot or smaller environment to work with an existing environment.

Option 1 – Build a New End-to-End 4K Environment

Some fortunate customers will be able to build a new environment with end-to-end 4K capability— from ingest through delivery. This is a superb time to assess the entire workflow, from asset managers to the complete content production and monetization lifecycle.

Sizing for a fresh, end-to-end, 4K-capable production environment is similar to specifying an HD production environment, with the caveat that the system will require fast and highly capable SAN Metadata Controllers, and enough Fibre Channel storage and bandwidth scaled to serve all clients for the number and size of streams that are required for the most efficient editing.

Option 2 – Stand Up a ‘Side-by-Side 4K Environment

Another option is to simply stand up a new, smaller 4K-capable environment alongside an existing HD production environment. This smaller environment can realize all of the benefits of a true, collaborative workflow, while sharing key assets and finished files with the existing environment. While it may be necessary to run additional Fibre Channel or Ethernet networking to accommodate both the HD and 4K environment at the same time, the impact is much less than having to create an entirely new environment from scratch. Key production workstations can mount both the HD and 4K SANs at the same time to ease productivity between the two environments as needed.

This approach is an excellent way to cost- effectively gain 4K production capability while maintaining existing HD productivity, and is much easier to implement and allows editors to gain 4K experience and familiarity over time.

Quantum’s StorNext® Pro 4K

Quantum’s StorNext® Pro 4K solution was expressly designed to accommodate either of these approaches—either as the foundation for an entirely new environment; or a small, contained, yet fully 4K-capable environment that can live alongside an existing production environment.

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Contact a QsmartStorage consultant now and discover how our innovative storage workflow solutions can work for your business from post production and 4K broadcast through to corporate video and cyber security.